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Bhubaneswar's 23% slum areas supplied with contaminated drinking water: NGO study

By Our Representative 

A recent study conducted by Bhubaneswar Bikash Sangathan and Atmashakti Trust sheds light on the dire water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) situation faced by slum dwellers in Bhubaneswar, has said that a staggering 22.7% (84 slums) of the surveyed areas are grappling with severe problems of contaminated drinking water, posing significant health risks to the residents.
The study, "Building Slums Better," which was conducted as part of their Swachh Basti Abhiyan (SBA), surveyed 370 slums across 61 wards, encompassing 88,916 households within the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) area limit.
According to the study report, 12.7% (47 slums) reported muddy drinking water, indicating the presence of suspended particles or sediments. Additionally, 10% (37 slums) are confronted with drinking water contaminated with iron.
The study found that 11.9% (44 slums) of the surveyed areas lack drainage facilities, leaving residents vulnerable to water accumulation and sanitation issues. Moreover, 15.1% (56 slums) have only partial drainage systems. The survey also identified 9.7% (36 slums) with partly damaged drainage systems.
The study further examined the conditions of tubewells and handpumps, revealing that of the 227 assessed tubewells/hand pumps, a shocking 71.8% (163 tubewells) were found to be defunct. Additionally, 37.9% (86 tubewells) lacked a platform, and 42.7% (97 tubewells) lacked soak pits. The report highlighted that 5.3% (12 tubewells) were completely damaged, and 7.9% (18 tubewells) were partially damaged.
Regarding the road infrastructure in slums, 11.1% (41 slums) had partial CC roads, and 5.4% (20 slums) lacked any CC roads.
In response to these concerning findings, members of the Sangathan met with three MLAs, one MP, over 47 corporators, the mayor and the deputy mayor, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Minister Usha Devi, ICDS officials, and WATCO representatives and submitted a memorandum urging immediate attention and action to tackle the water and sanitation challenges faced by slum dwellers in Bhubaneswar.



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